Georgia Consumers Continue Trend of Saving, Reducing Borrowing
- 51 percent of Georgians plan on spending the same this holiday season as last year
- Savings deposits at Georgia credit unions increased 9.55 percent during the first nine months of the year
- Credit card balances of Georgia credit union members have decreased by 2.15 percent so far this year
ATLANTA – Georgians are continuing their trend of economic prudence this holiday season as they shy away from tying up money in long-term accounts, cut back on borrowing and look for ways to reduce their holiday spending.
That means merchants are likely to yet again face shoppers uneasy about parting with their money, opting instead to hunt for bargains and special offers this holiday season.
That’s according to the latest “Paying Attention” report from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA), which revealed 51 percent of Georgians plan on spending the same this holiday season as they did last year while 46.5 percent said they plan on spending less.
The poll – part of a quarterly report that compiles recent poll responses from more than 6,000 credit union members and aggregated data from credit unions statewide – also revealed that 45.1 percent of respondents are targeting holiday shopping budget to fall between $100 and $500, likely making bargain hunting a vital part of holiday shopping.
The numbers are relatively unchanged from last year’s results when 52.8 percent said they plan to spend about the same in 2010 when compared to 2009 while 44.3 percent indicated they plan to spend less on the holiday season.
“For several years in a row, shoppers have trimmed their budgets, and we believe Georgia consumers will be frugal again this year,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. “Many Georgians are trying to avoid going into debt, and that includes cutting back on purchases throughout the year, including during the holidays.”
Savings and loan data from more than 150 credit unions statewide indicate that consumers remain reluctant to borrow money. As interest rates hover around historic lows, Georgians are opting to put their savings in short-term savings accounts rather than longer-term CDs as they wait for interest rates to increase before locking into longer-term accounts, the data suggests.